The Supreme Court on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the inconclusive reports presented by the police and the chief commissioner of Islamabad on last week's terror attack on the district and sessions court. It asked the interior secretary to form an independent joint investigation team headed by a DIG, which will complete the probe within two weeks time.
Chief Justice Tassaduq Jilani said prima facie the conduct of the Islamabad police is a moot point so some other body will investigate the matter. Since the role of the Islamabad police may be a subject of probe during investigation he asked the interior secretary to constitute a team comprising competent and upright police officers.
After receiving the report from the Islamabad Inspector-General of police Sikandar Hayat and chief commissioner of Islamabad Jawad Paul, the bench headed by the Chief Justice pointed to the discrepancies in the two reports. While the police now say there were only two attackers, the chief commissioner pointed to more than two of them. The lawyers said there were many more, the court observed.
The court asked if the police had blocked exit points and roads to stop the remaining men. Though 154 witnesses were examined as reported by the chief commissioner, the court observed that he was not in a position to give a conclusive opinion about the number of terrorists.
The IG's report did not indicate whether there was any standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding the security plan for the district court premises. The report also did not say whether the remaining assailants were chased or any effort was made to contain them so they don't escape, the court observed.
The IG was directed to submit an additional report on this within two days to the court.
Meanwhile, the apex court also directed the Islamabad High Court to conduct its own inquiry and present its report to the Supreme Court.
The court ordered that till the investigation was completed, no public figure should make a statement on this matter after lawyers pointed to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's speech in the National
Assembly where he said that additional sessions judge Rafakat Awan was killed by his own guard.
The court came down heavily on the police saying "when will you understand how to tackle terrorism". Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh said why don't you go to a book shop and read up.
The court questioned the lack of SOPs even though the country was fighting terror for over a decade.
Meanwhile, Malik Khalid Noon, Mr. Awan's reader, who was present in court, said the police were pressuring him to say that the judge was shot by his guard. He was threatened by a police officer that a case of murder would be filed against him otherwise. The reader claims he saw the attackers enter the court and fire at the judge. To this Mr. Awan's elder brother Colonel (retd) Safdar Hussain said the reader was lying and the gun with the guard could not fire more than one shot accidentally. He said Mr. Awan was killed at close range and his chest was blackened.
Mr. Hussain said the reader had called another judge to say that Mr. Awan was killed at 9.18 am (local time) even before the bomb blast, which took place at 9.25 am (local time). The apex court did not comment on this and said it would wait till the investigation as complete.
The court also ordered that the compensation be enhanced for the injured and the families of the victims which was now pegged at Rs. 75,000 and Rs five lakh respectively. This was considered too meagre an amount by the court. Lawyer Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani said that the court complex should be shifted to a safe location.